YMCA of Metro Atlanta Honors Partners and Volunteers During Celebration of Community Champions

Dr. Michael Lane among those recognized for tremendous impact.

Atlanta (February 11, 2021) — The YMCA of Metro Atlanta honored its partners and volunteers virtually during its 2021 Celebration of Community Champions on Feb. 11. The celebration kicked-off the Y’s Why It Matters Annual Giving Campaign, with a goal of raising more than $5 million before the end of June. The fundraising campaign supports scholarships for memberships and day camps. In addition, it supports the Y’s hunger relief programs and Y Campus Connection.

Through Dr. Michael Lane’s role as director of the Global Smallpox Eradication program with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, he successfully oversaw the eradication of smallpox across the globe. Dr. Lane’s commitment to family, community wellness and human rights health drove him to volunteer with the Y. For his efforts, he was honored posthumously with the Bransby Christian Leadership Award, the Y’s highest honor for volunteers. Established and named after Joseph C. Bransby, a dedicated servant leader who led the metro Atlanta YMCA from 1962 to 1980, the award is given annually for exemplary individual service.

“Dr. Lane was a remarkable board member and advocate for the community,” said Lauren Koontz, YMCA of Metro Atlanta President and CEO. “His service to the Y and devotion to the well-being of the community created a lasting impact on our organization.  We are proud to recognize Dr. Lane, our dedicated volunteers and partners and look forward to continuing to better the communities in which we serve.”

During the event, Gas South was honored with Corporate Partner of the Year due to the organization’s commitment to volunteerism and assistance in developing and implementing fun and engaging STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) learning in Y afterschool programs. Additionally, Atlanta Community Food Bank was recognized as Non-Profit Partner of the Year. The Atlanta Community Food Bank served as a critical partner to help the Y provide hunger relief services throughout COVID-19.

Individual Volunteers of the Year include:

Tangela Q. Parker — Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA; Atlanta; Fulton County

Jennifer Callender — Arthur M. Blank Family Youth YMCA; Atlanta; Fulton County

Richard Spencer — Carl E. Sanders Family YMCA at Buckhead; Atlanta; Fulton County

Claudia Engelbracht — Covington Family YMCA; Covington; Newton County

Mary McPherson — Cowart Family YMCA; Atlanta; DeKalb County

Sue Sullivan — Decatur Family YMCA; Decatur; DeKalb County

Mandy Mahoney — East Lake Family YMCA; Atlanta; DeKalb County

Jim Gilvin — Ed Isakson/Alpharetta Family YMCA; Alpharetta; Fulton County

Mark Bradley — Forsyth County Family YMCA; Cumming; Forsyth County

Sean Bloomer — Cecil Pruett Community Center Family YMCA; Canton; Cherokee County

Maria Peifer — J.M. Tull-Gwinnett Family YMCA; Lawrenceville; Gwinnett County

Mark Brown — McCleskey-East Cobb & Northeast Cobb Family YMCAs; Marietta; Cobb County

Joseph Stockman — Northwest Family YMCA; Kennesaw; Cobb County

Celeste Sperback — Robert D. Fowler Family YMCA; Peachtree Corners; Gwinnett County

Debra DeBerry — South DeKalb Youth YMCA; Decatur; DeKalb County

Kathryn Lawson — Summit Family YMCA; Newnan; Coweta County

Rebecca Martin — The Villages at Carver Family YMCA; Atlanta; Fulton County

Patricia A. Huguley — Wade Walker Park Family YMCA; Stone Mountain; DeKalb County

Brandon Thomas — YMCA Camp High Harbour at Lake Allatoona; Cartersville; Bartow County

Savannah Soles — YMCA Camp High Harbour at Lake Burton; Clayton; Rabun County

Candace Primm — YMCA Early Learning

Don Barden — YMCA of Metro Atlanta




About the YMCA of Metro Atlanta

For more than 160 years the YMCA of Metro Atlanta has been impacting lives and strengthening communities. As Atlanta has grown, the YMCA has also evolved to meet the changing needs of our community. Well-thought-out planning, while engaging stakeholders at various levels, provides the backdrop for sustainable change and positive impact at the YMCA of Metro Atlanta. By providing impactful services and support networks, and building bridges between people from all backgrounds, the Y has maintained its relevance, helping to create stronger, more cohesive communities for all.   https://www.ymcaatlanta.org/160